North London alt-pop duo Blue Violet share new single ‘Imagine Me’. The album ‘Faux Animaux’ will be released on 27th September on Me & My Records via High Head Recordings. They will play four live shows later this month, including The Fiddler’s Elbow, London on 22nd June.

Amid dark 80s electro-rock tones akin to a more seductive Depeche Mode, ‘Imagine Me’ portraits a lustful temptress – groupie, cougar, stalker or lovelorn loner – frustrated that the sexual encounter she so meticulously plots is over in a flash. “Imagine me waiting in your dressing room” / “Only I know just how to get to you,” purrs Sarah McGrigor – crystalline singer of Scottish-French-Moroccan heritage. The song, the duo say, “is about the anticipation of a sexual encounter, the lust that goes with fantasising about it, and the subsequent disappointment of it ending too soon. We have leaned into electronic influences from the 80s on this one with the bass synth driving the track, and a The Smiths-esque guitar riff that drops in and out throughout.”

In April, Blue Violet – Blue for their melancholic element, Violet for the vividness – shared lead single ‘Boogie Shoes’, a grainy glam stomp aimed midway between Queens Of The Stone Age and St Vincent. They wrote ‘Boogie Shoes’ as a post-pandemic entreaty to get out and grab life again. “It felt like we were all going through a mass depression and needed to pull ourselves out of it, but that is sometimes easier said than done,” explains guitarist and co-singer Sam Gotley. Hence this vision of London’s night-crawlers comes with a seedy undercurrent reflecting “the temptation that goes with a night out in the belly of the beast, where even humanity’s best might fall from grace.”
Earlier this year, Blue Violet shared one off single ‘Human After All’, an upbeat, synth-leaning track with anthropologist themes. It is, says Sarah, “about individuals and the collective. Not thinking that you have a big impact as a small individual, but actually, if everybody has the same viewpoint then we can achieve big things.”

On the album ‘Faux Animaux’, Blue Violet continue their explorationDownload high res single artwork here
of rich electronic avenues inspired by Calvi, St Vincent, Radiohead, Bowie, recent Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Twin Peaks. With their songwriting as sublime as ever, they’ve become one of the most enthralling underground propositions of the age.

Recorded in Bristol’s J&J studios with Bat For Lashes and Hannah Peel mixer / producer TJ Allen, ‘Faux Animaux’ is a unified and sophisticated update of modern British alt-pop, drifting from sizzling space disco to stunning, swirling cinematic vistas.

“A lot of the themes on the album are about human observation and the ironies of human behaviour,” says Sarah. “We invent things that move us further and further away from nature and shun our animal instincts,” adds Sam. “In a sense we are fake animals sharing a planet with billions of real ones. On the other hand, our animalistic nature cannot be completely buried – we try to push it down, but it is such a big part of us that it fights to be free.”

The album kicks off its tour of the human zoo with a stop at the rather shallow celebrity enclosure. Sultry glam synthrock anthem ‘Sweet Success’ dissects the moral and personal costs of climbing humanity’s highest and slipperiest poles, and the competitiveness and soul-selling you find at the top.
Next up is current single ‘Imagine Me’, then ‘Survival’ and the celestial ‘Talking To You’ – gentler paeans channelling Metric, Mazzy Star, Cigarettes After Sex and Julee Cruise – hone in on the distances between lovers and siblings, with hints of apocalypse and political suppression flavouring the subtext. And ‘The Librarian’, essentially a North London National, is probably the album’s most personal moment, as Sam faces down alcoholism, artistic struggles and life as one’s own mortal enemy. The drivetime textures of Fleetwood Mac, Cyndi Lauper and the Eurythmics lift the mood towards the wistful for the philosophical ‘Cold Hearts’, before lead single ‘Boogie Shoes’. From there the record smoulders towards an incendiary climax. ‘Fire’ employs smoky Prince grooves to dissect humanity’s lust for passion and power. ‘Teeth Out’ evokes a woman baring her teeth against a country in stasis from within a sumptuous alt-country waltz. And ‘Barefoot On The Seine’ – inspired by witnessing protests in Chicago and Europe – is a schizophrenic dispatch from the edges of a Parisian riot, its verses lost in graceful Gallic romance and its choruses, grunge rock eruptions all, righteous calls to arms in support of essential personal freedoms.

Closing the album, the title track acts as a brooding, Bad Seeds-esque surf noir summary of the theme. “Lyrically it is intended as a statement,” Sam says, “that we will not sit back and accept false promises or fake, two-faced political notions that say one thing but mean another. It’s a song of two parts. The first deals with the potential power of an animal when it’s cornered. The second deals with the transitions we go through in life.”

Blue Violet returned to the stage in March, when they were invited to play a song with The Gaslight Anthem during various shows at London’s Roundhouse, but ‘Faux Animaux’ is set to usher in their own glory days. It’s a stunning amalgam of modernism and melody that spotlights not just humankind’s failings and fakery but its leaders’ too. “The fake animals could be seen as the powers that be, leading us down paths that result in us ignoring our more natural instincts, often making decisions without our permission,” says Sam. Quietly, a beast awakens.

1. Sweet Success
2. Imagine Me
3. Survival
4. Talking To You
5. The Librarian
6. Cold Hearts
7. Boogie Shoes
8. Fire
9. Teeth Out
10. Barefoot On The Seine
11. Faux Animaux

Blue Violet LIVE DATES
12th June – The Tunnels – Aberdeen
13th June – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – Glasgow
22nd June – The Fiddler’s Elbow – London
30th June – Heartland Festival – Scotland